Thermal printhead enables fast, clear printing on a single-cell Li-Ion battery

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ROHM has developed a new thermal printhead – KR2002-Q06N5AA – compatible with single Li-ion battery cell (3.6V) battery drive that achieves high-performance printing while improving energy savings by approximately 30%.

In recent years, the importance of payment terminals and logistics mobile label printers continues to increase following the growth of electronic money payments. For mobile label printers and payment terminals, 2-cell Li-ion battery thermal printers have become mainstream due to their printing speed and print quality.

Single-cell Li-ion battery drive allows printers to be made smaller, lighter, and more energy efficient, but drawbacks such as slower printing speed and shorter battery life prevent widespread use. In response, ROHM developed a thermal printhead that can achieve the same print output as a 2-cell drive even with a single Li-ion battery cell.

The KR2002-Q06N5AA utilizes a radically new structure that breaks away from convention. In addition to optimizing the glaze design (which functions as a heat storage layer) and adopting special low resistance heat elements, the protective film structure on the heat elements was optimized. This ensures efficient transfer of generated heat to the print media such as thermal paper and thermal transfer ribbons. At the same time, improvements to the driver IC and wiring structure increase printing performance by efficiently converting power supplied to the device into thermal energy. Simultaneously improving heat transfer and power efficiency allows ROHM to achieve significant energy savings.

These improvements make it possible to achieve the same printing speed and quality as conventional heads driven by two Li-ion battery cells (7.2V) with just a single cell. ROHM also succeeded in reducing the applied energy required for printing by about 30% over existing single-cell drive thermal printheads. This translates to greater energy efficiency while reducing the size and weight of thermal printer equipment.

Going forward, ROHM will continue to expand its considerable lineup of thermal printheads that deliver high image quality, industry-leading print speeds, and superior efficiency.

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